Posted by: carbonara | December 11, 2009

“On the ninth day til COP-mas, the Mr Men sent to me…



So the “secret” draft decision texts just keep on popping up in the media with many more rumoured to be changing hands behind closed doors, perhaps waiting for the right newspaper and the right moment to stage a leak. If it’s not the Danish Text then it’s the Beijing Draft and who knows what next, perhaps a stinging effort from Mr Uppity – which could take the heat off everyone else for a while – or something of a different flavour form Little Miss Bossy and the islanders.

Speaking of which, the COP remains suspended today over the developing country rift and, worse, it has been joined in suspension by its sister body the CMP (or COP/MOP).  Carbonara turns instead to the hordes of observers and the signs that the enormous Bella Center is starting to creak at the seams  under the strain of such relentless crowds. There’s Mr Nosey and Mr Greedy of course, but we mustn’t forget bookish Little Miss Curious  who wants to know EVERYTHING and as of today, Mr Small and his veritable army of orange-shirted youngsters, crawling over the centre in their apparent thousands. All this means that the Blue Trousers are increasingly concerned that there are just too many guests at the great big climate party and they had better do something about it.  And so we may have the “secondary badge” system.

Each observer organisation will receive a limited number of secondary entrance badges, fewer than their number of registered delegates, and these badges can be distributed amongst themselves as they see fit. Remind you of anything? Welcome to the mysterious world of COP-badge trading.

With the COP and CMP suspended, an observers’ contact group was formed to negotiate on the design of such a mechanism, with parties lining up over deeply entrenched policy positions. Mr Greedy immediately requested that badges be allocated for free, with numbers based on each organisation’s historical attendance at UN meetings. Mr Nosey hit back and questioned the integrity of this system of ‘grandfathering’ badges and, as if to confirm his fears, each faction of Mr Greedy’s friends immediately started lobbying to increase their portion free allowances. Meanwhile Mr Nosey argued that these badges should in fact be auctioned rather than given away, so that the true value of them be appreciated.  Since nobody knows exactly how many people in total will be around next week, Mr Greedy is concerned that badges may start changing hands at such a high price that people will lose interest in attending the COP. To counter this he got together with Little Miss Curious and her academic chums and together they designed an elaborate system whereby observers can purchase substitute badges from people outside the centre who were planning to come to the meeting but promise not to come in return for the sale. Mr Nosey took one look at this and concluded that it could never work because you could never prove that those people were really planning to come to the COP before they heard about the substitute badge system. But everyone ignored him and will plough ahead with the system anyway. Nobody knows if old Blue Trousers will reduce the total number of badges available day by day in order to get swifter reductions. We’ll see in time whether it works.

Whilst all this was going on, Mr Small’s copious band of orange followers danced and sang and clapped and made a lot of noise and most people looked on bemusedly and wondered just why there were so many of them there. But not Mr Greedy, who rubbed his hands and wondered what price they might pay for badges…



  1. This is turning out to be more of a COP-mess…

  2. […] for one day, there was outrage building amongst the NGO observer community over the upcoming “secondary badge” entrance system. Mr Greedy, having already designed a fully functional market system, was […]

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